Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Whorls, arches, and loops, oh my.

This story caught my eye because of the recent kerfuffle over the Naperville Public Library's decision to install fingerprint scanners on their internet computers. Looks like the German airline Lufthansa is about to join Naperville in embracing biometrics as a security measure. Makes Sherri's thoughts on this over at schwagbag seem especially prescient ("way to go for making libraries about as inviting and easy to use as a trip through airport security screening").

Opinions about biometrics aside, what really bugs me about all this is the nagging feeling that libraries are caught up in some kind of catch 22 when it comes to experimenting with new technologies. Especially ones that are typically considered germane to other lines of work. Why does it feel like when libraries are among the first to adopt some new gizmo, we must be doing something shady, but when we wait for something to be tested and approved, we're hopelessly behind the curve?

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